Foreign Office

Site + Mpi Global Forum will feature powerful education and inspirational keynotes to ignite innovation

Meeting and incentive professionals from around the world will convene in Rome, 12-14 January 2018, for three days. The forum is the first time Society for Incentive Excellence (Site) and Meeting Professionals International (Mpi) have come together for a global event to share industry trends.

Meeting and incentive professionals from around the world will convene at the SITE + MPI Global Forum in Rome, Italy, 12-14 January 2018 for three days filled with culturally diverse experiences, local inspiration and global knowledge sharing.

The forum is the first time Society for Incentive Excellence (SITE) and Meeting Professionals International (MPI) have come together for a global event to share industry trends, offer innovative education and provide a collaborative yet exclusive environment for networking and business exchanges.

“We are thrilled to have assembled a diverse and respected group of meeting and incentive industry leaders and keynote speakers for the SITE + MPI Global Forum,” said Annamaria Ruffini, CIS, CMP SITE president-elect and CEO Events In & Out S.R.L. “We look forward to inspiring and equipping delegates with new and innovative information to advance their business and careers, as well as providing them the unique opportunity to connect with meeting and incentive industry peers from all over the world in Rome.” 

More than 30 tailored education sessions will provide exclusive access to new ideas, new connections and new experiences designed to deliver business results and reset and re-energize delegates’ perspectives and creativity. The education includes separate tracks for incentive travel and meetings management professionals, as well as concurrent sessions focused on each industry’s hottest trends, specifically designed to connect meeting and incentive professionals.

Four inspirational keynote speakers will bring alive the event tagline “Connecting Event & Incentive Professionals” by focusing on how breakthrough ideas occur when concepts from diverse industries, cultures and disciplines intersect, igniting extraordinary innovation. This year’s line-up includes Italian paleontologist Alberto Angela; Frans Johansson, founder and CEO of The Medici Group; and Julie Cottineau, Founder of Brain Twist.

A Day in the Life of Ancient Rome - The year is 115 AD and Imperial Rome is at the height of its power. Admired in his native Italy for his ability to bring history to life through narrative, Alberto Angela will open up the ancient world and take delegates on a journey back in time for you to experience a day in the life of ancient Rome. An author of many books, Angela also produces a number of long running and popular Italian television shows on history, travel, discovery, exploration, and space. Join Alberto and tap into the GENIUS intersecting in Rome! (Opening Plenary Session – Friday, January 12, 2018) 

The Medici Effect - In his signature talk, Fran Johansson urges individuals and organizations to break down the silos and step into “the intersection” - a place where different fields, disciplines, departments, and cultures converge to create new, remarkable breakthroughs. As CEO of The Medici Group, Johansson advises executive leadership from some of the world's largest companies (including 30 percent of the Fortune 100), as well as startups, venture capital firms, government agencies, and universities. He is also author to two books –The Medici Effect and The Click Moment – and the host of a podcast centered on diversity driving innovation. Raised in Sweden by his African-American/Cherokee mother and Swedish father, Johansson has lived all his life at the intersection. He previously presented at MPI’s 2011 European Meeting and Events Conference in Düsseldorf, Germany. (Morning Plenary Session – Saturday, January 13, 2018)

Storyteller Plenary Sessions - We often look outside of our own industry for inspiration and knowledge, but some of the most powerful stories come directly from our community. This two-part session will get kicked off by a professional storyteller who will share the power of storytelling, followed by four storytellers from the meeting and incentive community. (Part 1 – Saturday, January 13, 2018/Part 2 – Sunday, January 14).

Twist- How Fresh Perspectives Build Breakthrough Brands - It’s been an amazing event filled with great speakers, contacts, and ideas…but now what? In this actionable, inspiring presentation Julie Cottineau, author of the best-selling book, “TWIST: How Fresh Perspectives Build Breakthrough Brands,” will share tools and tips to twist the experience and take the learning home, focusing on five major takeaways from the forum with actionable next steps. Cottineau honed her branding chops as VP of Brand for Richard Branson’s Virgin company and at Interbrand and Grey Global and is often quoted in top business media such as Entrepreneur, CNN Money and Wharton Business Radio. (Closing Plenary Session – Sunday, January 14, 2018)

“Our teams have designed an excellent program for SITE + MPI Global Forum that will help delegates expand their skills, imagination and expertise. The educational program will feature great thinkers and doers to inspire delegates, and most sessions align to CMP International Standards,” added Paul Van Deventer, president and CEO of Meeting Professionals International.

Other program highlights include the opening celebration, MPI Foundation’s Rendezvous fundraiser and networking event, SITE Chapter Excellence and Crystal Awards, the closing dinner, and optional incentive quality pre- and post-tours.

SITE and the MPI Academy will also offer four pre-conference certificate programs providing delegates the opportunity to advance their professional development and grow their careers. Additional fees apply for pre-conference courses. 

SITE Certified Incentive Specialist (CIS) Course - In this one and a half day workshop, delegates will learn the fundamentals of incentives, the origins of incentive programs and incentive travel, the value proposition of motivational programs and non-cash awards, the makings of a program and a program budget, industry tools and platforms and other valuable information. 

MPI Academy Emergency Preparedness for Meetings & Events - Created in partnership with the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4), this six-hour, intensive course will take a deep dive into incident management strategies as needed for the prevention, preparedness, response and recovery from all-hazard emergency incidents. Delegates will be introduced to techniques to prevent and respond to extraordinary crimes, violence, terrorist attacks, natural disasters and ordinary incidents such as fights, or drunkenness to ensure the safety and security of all attendees, limit damage and restore services in the event of emergencies. 

MPI Academy CMP Master Class: Preparing for the Exam and Applying it at Work - Sitting for the CMP Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) in the near future or thinking about taking it “someday”?  This open floor, interactive session will cover industry best practices as outlined in the CMP-International Standards (CMP-IS). This is about preparing for the exam and applying it on the job. It also includes proven study methods, test taking tips, relaxation techniques and stories that make the concepts “sticky.” 

MPI Academy Women in Leadership: Executive Leadership Skills - Women play key roles in the hospitality and meeting industries, but many find it challenging to move into leadership positions. This four-hour course will examine why this is, what can be done about it and help participants create a personal action plan to overcome some of the common career obstacles women face. 

The Early Bird discount of 200 € off the cost of conference registration has been extended to 11 November. To learn more and register, visit and